Suppliers support renewing exemptions to access copyrighted software for independent repair providers

July 24, 2020
MEMA’s comments were in response to the U.S. Copyright Office initiation of the first phase of its eighth triennial review proceeding under the DMCA.

On behalf of its two divisions, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and MERA - The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing divisions, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) reiterated its support under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to renew current exemptions that allow greater access to vehicle software for diagnostic and repair services by independent repair providers. 

MEMA’s comments were in response to the U.S. Copyright Office initiation of the first phase of its eighth triennial review proceeding under the DMCA. Renewed exemptions will enable diagnostic tool providers and repair professionals to access software and other copyrighted information that is necessary to diagnose and repair vehicles without compromising the intellectual property found on vehicles.

Prior to 2018, the repair exemption for vehicle software had only applied to vehicle owners. During the previous, seventh triennial review, MEMA was successful in getting the Copyright Office to expand the vehicle repair exemption to allow for third-party providers to service vehicles on behalf of owners. 

“AASA’s priority is ensuring access to appropriate vehicle data for both consumers and repair shops. Getting the exemption expanded was a critical victory for the aftermarket, and renewing it is necessary to defend consumer’s choice on where and with what parts our vehicles can be repaired and maintained,” commented Paul McCarthy, president of AASA. “This is only one piece of the puzzle but an important step in the fight to protect market competition and consumers.”

MEMA has worked closely on this issue with other aftermarket stakeholders like the Auto Care Association and Specialty Equipment Marketing Association, who also support retaining the repair exemptions. 

In addition to comments on the diagnostic and repair exemption, MEMA submitted a petition that supports renewing the existing exemption of access to software for the purposes of “good faith security research.” The research, development, and validation are critical aspects of continuous creation, refinement, and implementation of technologies – particularly when it comes to safety and security.

If renewed, the exemptions would remain in force for an additional three-year period of October 2021–October 2024. 

About AASA

AASA ( exclusively serves manufacturers of aftermarket components, tools and equipment, and related products, an important part of the automotive parts manufacturing industry which supports 871,000 American jobs. AASA is a recognized industry change agent – promoting a collaborative industry environment, providing a forum to address issues and serving as a valued resource for members. AASA is the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). “AASA, Connecting Members to What Matters.”

About MERA

MERA - The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing is the remanufacturing and sustainability division of MEMA. With roots in the transportation industry, MERA represents the interests of the broader remanufacturing community across multiple industry sectors. The organization is a network of manufacturers, suppliers, universities, and professional services firms that promotes the economic, environmental, and product performance benefits of remanufacturing and similar forms of sustainable manufacturing. MERA is also the home of Manufactured Again Certification, where new manufacturing and sustainable manufacturing are held to the same international quality standards. 

About MEMA

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and its four specialized divisions comprise the leading international trade association in the fast-changing mobility industry. Representing vehicle suppliers that manufacture and remanufacture components, technologies, and systems for use in passenger cars and heavy trucks, MEMA serves as a critical bridge between high-tech capabilities in new vehicles –such as autonomous vehicles and vehicle connectivity—and the “nuts and bolts” of vehicle manufacturing. MEMA works at state, federal, and international levels to ensure that the marketplace and public policy support the development of advanced, transformative technologies that enable safer, smarter, and more efficient vehicles. By directly employing more than 871,000 Americans and generating a total employment impact of 4.26 million jobs, MEMA’s member companies are the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. MEMA’s members are represented through four divisions: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Association for Sustainable Manufacturing (MERA), and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). For more information on how MEMA is leading transformation in the mobility industry, visit

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